Berlin Highlights – Part 2

Berlin Highlights – Teil 1
Berlin Highlights – Part 1
October 26, 2015
Berliner Dom endarmenmarkt
Berlin Highlights – Part 3
November 8, 2015
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Berlin Highlights – Teil 2

Two thousand years of German-Jewish history

German-Jewish historyThe Jewish Museum in Berlin is a must for any visitor to the city.

The permanent exhibition in Daniel Libeskind’s breathtaking building charts the course of German-Jewish history. Everyday objects and works of art, photos and letters, interaction elements and media stations covering 13 different eras from the Middle Ages through to the present day reflect Jewish culture in Germany and show how closely Jewish life is linked with German history. The museum also hosts a variety of special exhibitions.

German Historical Museum

Deutsches-Historisches-MuseumThe German Historical Museum is now housed in two separate buildings. In the exceptional baroque Zeughaus (armoury) on Unter den Linden a permanent exhibition on ‘German history in images and artefacts’ features more than 8,000 objects depicting German history in a European context. The modern exhibition hall by famous Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei has four levels which offer new exhibitions all the time about major historical events.

Down the ages: the Jewish Cemetery at Weissensee

Im Lauf der Zeiten: der Jüdische Friedhof WeißenseeThe Jewish cemetery at Weissensee is one of the most beautiful in the whole of Europe. It reflects the blossoming of Berlin’s Jewish community in the 19th century and early 20th century and, of course, its tragic demise. Laid out in 1880 and home to 115,000 graves, this is the largest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe and has been under a preservation order since the 1970s. Along the main walkways and on special rows of honour there are mausoleums and monumental headstones for a number of notable Jewish citizens, while a memorial stone commemorates the victims of Nazi persecution.

A water sports paradise in the leafy suburbs: Lake Wannsee

Wassersportparadies im Grünen: der WannseeOn sunny days, Berliners flock to Lake Wannsee. As well as providing the perfect backdrop for scenic walks far from the buzz of the city, it is also a true paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Just a few minutes from Wannsee train station, it’s the ideal place for swimming, diving, canoeing, rowing and sailing – or simply enjoying a great day out. Boat trips on the lake offer spectacular views of the huge gardens belonging to the lakeside residences and there are many small bays where you can moor up and enjoy a picnic. The shady beer gardens are the ideal settings in which to enjoy a Berliner Weisse beer.

Berlin Wall

BerlinerMauerFrom 1961 to 1989 the Berlin Wall divided the city in two. Most of this concrete structure has since been torn down, but fragments do remain a feature of the city. The Berlin Wall Trail, a route for walkers and cyclists split into 14 sections, follows the path of the former wall. Information panels installed at 30 points tell the story of the Berlin Wall. The colourful and recently restored East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain is a piece of the hinterland wall that in 1990 was painted by artists from 21 countries. On Bernauer Strasse, where there is a replica section of the Berlin Wall, you can also visit a memorial site, a documentation centre and the Chapel of Reconciliation.

Berlin Philharmonic

Berliner PhilharmonieFounded in 1882, the Berlin Philharmonic is one of the most famous orchestras in the world. Famous conductors such as Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwängler have shaped the history of the orchestra, which is currently under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

The Berlin Philharmonic Hall, built in 1963 by architect Hans Scharoun, is a masterpiece of concert hall design. The auditorium offers excellent acoustics and splendid views from all seats because the orchestra sits in the middle. From the outside as well, the tent-like building is a sight to behold. Free lunchtime concerts are held in the hall on Tuesdays at 1pm.

Jewish Museum

Juedisches Museum BerlinThe Jewish Museum, opened in 2001, is a popular museum and also a striking example of contemporary architecture.

Conceived by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the building translates a complex system of philosophical ideas and concepts into an impressive expression of form. From the outside, the virtually windowless building resembles an unravelled Star of David. The museum houses a huge exhibition about the life and history of German-speaking Jews. The main axis – the ‘void’ – runs through the various sections of the museum, symbolising the voids in Jewish history.

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